Resource Links Review - Lake in the Clouds

Reviewed by: Patricia Jeremy

King Arthur's legendary sword Excalibur has been broken into five shards, and this book tells of the finding of the third. Our heroine, Ariane, remains under the influence of the Lady of the Lake, and continues in her quest to reassemble the sword and establish control of the realm of Faerie. Her erstwhile partner, Wally Knight, betrayed her in the previous book by giving the second shard to their rival, Rex Major, the computer genius who is the current incarnation of Merlin the Magician. Wally hoped to protect Ariane from the more aggressive tendencies she has shown since discovering the shards, but now he has increased Major's powers. As a result, Major is able to kidnap Ariane's beloved Aunt Phyllis, and force Ariane to cooperate in the search for the third shard.

Wally learns of the kidnapping, and realizes he was wrong to side with Major. He rejoins Ariane, and regains her trust. Now the race is on to find the third shard in a mountain lake in New Zealand. Ariane again uses her ability to control and travel through water, and now has the power to take Wally. But Major still has two cards to play: Wally's sister, who shares his connection to the powers of King Arthur, and Ariane's missing mother, who Major has tracked through his computer network. Those two cards should be the arc of the two remaining instalments.

The overlay of the Arthurian legend on a modern Canadian context works surprisingly well. Merlin's magical powers are invested in Rex Major's spyware embedded in the internet. Wally's loyalty and courage accurately reflect both Arthur's strength and his fatal flaw. Ariane's coolly calculated actions echo the dispassionate deeds of the Lady of the Lake. Her magical use of water is rather inexplicable, but provides a convenient "deus ex machina" to literally move the plot. Readers who are invested in the series will eagerly anticipate the final two books. 

Thematic Links: Arthurian Legend; Fantasy; Adventure

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